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… and decided to make a movie about Comic-Con, what you would get is this….

Gotta love Kevin Smith….

Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope will hit theaters April 6th.

World of Warcraft - my elfI’ve gone and done it. I’ve been holding back for years, but I finally gave into the urge.

I signed up for World of Warcraft.

What was I thinking? Well, for one I haven’t gamed in years. I was a pretty active AD&D player back in university, I even played RIFTS and I have to admit I miss the cameradery of campaigning with a group of friends. Plus DH and I have been talking for a while about picking up a game and playing online together – we’ve been waiting for Diablo III to come out forever. At any rate, we decided on the weekend that we were sick of waiting and that we would take advantage of the free promotion that WoW is currently offering – play free for the first 20 levels.

So, not without trepidation, we both downloaded and installed the program on our respective computers and away we went.

And how did it go?

Firstly, it’s beautiful. The environment is immersive and beautifully rendered. A lot of time and energy went into designing a this world, which leads me to wish they spent a little less time on the trees and more time on the GUI (Graphic User Interface) and end user testing. The interface leaves a lot to be desired which leads to complaints about the instruction manual. They claim that usage is intuitive, but it took me about an hour to figure out how not to get killed and I still don’t know how to sell my extra swag. I couldn’t find any information on how to fight or cast spells inside the game. I had to log off and then go search for the information online. Admittedly if I had bought the beginners pack I would have had a hard copy, but I would imagine that most people would be downloading the game, so this type of oversight is really unacceptable.

As for gameplay itself, it’s alright – nothing to really write home about. There is some sort of conspiracy going on that involves my race and class, but there doesn’t seem to be an overarching story line right now. I think it’s developing slowly and while I like to know what I’m getting into thematically when I play a game, I’m willing to roll with things as they come along.

Felicia Day

It's all your fault, Felicia Day!

The thing that’s disappointing me right now is I expected more interaction between myself and other players. Maybe it’s because I’m playing the Role-Playing version (as opposed to Normal or Player v Player), but I thought I would be able to join up with other newbies and go on quests together as we figured out exactly how to play this. And because DH is a different race and character class than I am, we haven’t met up yet.

At least I hope that’s the reason…….. ;)

At any rate, I guess after seeing The Guild, I had a bit of a romanticized picture in my head about what playing an MMORPG would be like, and so far World of Warcraft hasn’t met that expectation yet but I’m willing to stick with it a little while longer. We’ll see if Blizzard get’s my hard earned coin after that I reach 20th level.

I’ll keep you up to date as to my adventures, and if you happen to be in WoW, and come across a night-elf druid named Zephyrex, make sure to say “Hi!”

I promise not to blast you.

I’ve been waiting for some True Blood news to post, and I finally have some, though I wish I was more excited about it.

The role of Claude Crane has been recast!

In the season 4 premier, the role had gone to Neil Hopkins, perhaps best know for his stint on Lost playing Liam Pace. His appearance as Claudine’s triplet Claude was a blink and you’ll miss it sort of affair, but people had been hoping he would make a return appearance.

Well, the good news is that Claude will be returning, just not as played by Neil. No, the role has gone to newcomer Giles Mattey.

The New ClaudeI have to ask: WHY?!?

Generally speaking, I’ve been pretty happy about the casting of characters established in the Charlaine Harris novels, but this one leaves me cold. Claude is described in the books as ‘hunky’, the kind of guy women and men would do a double take for. Hot and flauntingly sexual, Claude is a stripper who passes his daytime hours posing for the covers of romance novels – think Fabio only 1,000 times better looking.

I’m not getting that vibe from Giles. I haven’t seen many pictures, but he does not seem to have the physique that one would describe as ‘hunky’ and he certainly doesn’t look like he spends his time stripping. Neil’s looks fit into what I think of as fae, his physique is nothing to sneeze at, plus I think he’s fairly believable as Claudine’s sibling. Neil Hopkins and Lara Pulver look to be the same age, where as I would place Giles as being about 5 years younger – maybe more.

No mention as to whether Claude will be gay, as per the books, but reports are saying that Jessica will be taking an interest – which may work out well for fans if we don’t particularly like the character.

I am going to hold onto my outright condemnation of Alan Ball’s choice until I see what Giles does with the role. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt this one time.

But I can’t say as I’m feeling all that optimistic about it.

Want!

Creepy Cute Crochet

Isn’t the Grimm Reaper adorable and couldn’t you just cuddle Cthulu to death!

Alternative histories are big right now. It started with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and has now morphed into a new literary genre that includes Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, the March sisters, Henry VII and even Abraham Lincoln as protectors against the hordes of supernatural marauders.

Well, time to add Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the mix. Somehow he found the time while authoring the new deal and fighting the Axis to kill werewolves for fun. Oh, the Axis *was* comprised of werewolves. It all makes sense now.

 Warning: A bad word or two

Starring Barry Bostwick as FDR, Lin Shaye as Elanor and Ray Wise as General Douglas McArthur, better known as Dougie Mac.

And as an added bonus, here’s the one-sheet for Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter

Scott BakulaOkay, not really, and I have to admit that I haven’t been following Chuck since the middle of last season, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m super excited to find out that Scott Bakula has been added to the roster of guests at Wizard World Comic Con this April 14th to the 16th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (yay! new venue!).

Scott will be joining Jeri Ryan, Amy Acker (FRED!), Sean Maher, Paul Wesley (at least he doesn’t sparkle) and a slew of others at this years Comic Con.

Keep your eye on the Wizard World Comic Con site for more announcements and schedule of events.

Guess I better get off my butt and get caught up on the last season and a half of Chuck.

And I still think Chuck’s dad is alive!

This came on my iPod this afternoon and it made me happy, so I thought I would share.

Glad to hear that Nik is still touring – maybe he’ll make it to Toronto sometime.

Once upon a time there was a toy that everyone loved. Little girls and boys could play with it for hours, letting their imaginations run wild. Kids could create cities, cars, robots, houses, farms, thing-a-ma-bobs for hours on end.

And it was good.

Then along comes someone who thinks: “Hey! Kids love this toy! But they don’t buy a lot of them, because they can make so many different things; they can make castles and rocket ships and monsters and all sorts of fancy geegaws out of one simple kit. That isn’t going to make us any money! Let’s make it so that kids will want to only make one thing out of one set of this wonderful toy. That way, when they want to build something else, their parents will have to buy another set, and so on and so forth”

And it wasn’t so good.

So our someone thinks: “Well, that isn’t working so well, so let’s actively market it to boys, with manly men and big guns and epic battles. Get their testosterone running.” And they did

And it was good, for the company, that is until their market share stopped growing.

So, what is our intrepid toy company someone to do? Well, it’s time to create a toy for girls, with girly things, like shopping, and hanging around a coffee shop and imitating Britney Spears, and oh! a science lab with a robot to quiet down the feminists, and doggies to brush……

And it wasn’t so good. Because now mom’s are getting pissed off.

This is the story of Lego, a company that once championed children’s creativity, but now is nothing more than a purveyor of overpriced toys that piggy backs on popular culture.

Okay, that may be a little harsh. I loved Legos as a kid, my kids love and play with Legos now. But here’s the thing. I refuse to buy the kits. The Legos my kids play with are all bought at garage sales and at the Sally Ann. Why? Because I don’t want anyone telling them what those colorful little blocks *should* be. That is what their imagination is for.

Which brings me to Lego Friends – a product purposefully developed for girls, with input from girls. I guess the bigwigs from Lego felt they were missing a piece of the Disney Princess pie and acted accordingly.

And this is what 4 years of intensive study and $40 million gets you:

Lego Friends

A coffee shop, a beauty salon, a fashion designer, doggies and a Katy Perry wannabe.

That’s it Lego? That’s all you got? Who exactly did you poll, the Toddlers and Tiaras set?

I object to this on two levels.

The first is the fact that, yet again, a toy company is pushing shallow values and rampant commercialism on our girls.  While the boys are out saving the world as Han Solo or Harry Potter, our girls are designing dresses and having their nails done.

Okay, I know creating a toy environmental activist would be really, really difficult. How much fun can cleaning up a riverbank be for a 5 year old, I get that. But this is this the sum total of what it means to be a girl? Driving a fancy car and hanging out in a coffee shop drinking overpriced beverages.

Is this as meaningful as our daughter’s lives get?

Why is a company that is built on children’s creativity as it’s bread and butter so hell bent on pigeonholing girls into a limited, shallow and crassly commercial niche?

Lego ad, circa 1981And this brings me to my second point, why are we segregating toys to begin with? Yes, I understand that kids tend to gravitate towards certain toys based on gender, girls towards more social type toys such as dolls, while boys like action and building toys. That’s fine, but shouldn’t we encourage our boys to be more social and our girls to build things and be more active? Isn’t that part of our jobs as parents to raise healthy, well rounded individuals?

And what about those kids who don’t fit that narrowly defined space of boy/girl? Don’t we owe it to those kids to help them feel comfortable in their own skin and not belittle or marginalize their interest just because it isn’t “girly” or “manly “enough?

I will never forget the time I was in the toy section of the Walmart back in Kapuskasing and a little girl got excited about a set of Tinker Toys. She raced over to her dad to show him what she found. You know what he said?

“Put that back, these are for boys. You don’t want to play with these.”

He actually looked embarrassed.

That poor little girl was crushed. She trudged away, shoulders slumped and my heart just broke. When she was alone, staring longingly at the Tinker Toys, I scooted over and told her that my sister liked to play with that exact toy when she was a little girl and now she sends experiments up in the space shuttle and tells the astronauts what to do. She looked at me and smiled, but I could tell she didn’t believe me.

I’ve wondered ever since if the world lost a brilliant mind that day.

And it isn’t just the girls who are hurt by this type of narrow-minded messaging. It also limits the boys, firstly by presenting them with only one version of masculinity – the testosterone driven, highly aggressive one, and it also sets up the expectation among girls that their romantic partner is going to be the ‘prince’ that sweeps them away and makes everything perfect. That’s a hell of a lot of responsibility for anyone, child or adult.  Why can’t a boy play dog groomer, or a fashion designer? Why can’t they expect their life partner to take control of their own happiness and contribute equally to the relationship?

That’s what these toys are selling our children.

I read an article a few years ago by The Toronto Star’s Michelle Landsberg where she marveled at the many ways one could be a woman these days. One could be soft and feminine, strong and powerful, or somewhere in between. It was amazing to her that in this day and age we women finally had the choice. That is what feminism means, women have the choice to be what *we* want to be, housewive or CEO – it is okay to be either.

This is not about pink or blue. Not really. It’s about placing limits on something that should be limitless, the potential of a child, to be anything, to do anything. And these toys are doing that to girls by sending out a message that their lives should be one of mindless comfort, no demands, no challenges, no victories.

Which begs the question, why are companies trying to tell our daughters what they should be?

And why are we letting them?

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I love little Riley. Way to go Dad!

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BLOGS

SOCIAL MEDIA

Petition: Tell LEGO to stop selling out girls! #LiberateLEGOs

It’s a beautiful thing….

 

Beetlejuice - the sequel??There! I said it three times, and it may actually work!

According to MTV News, Tim Burton is considering filming a much wanted sequel to his 1988 hit Beetlejuice.

No word yet as to whether it would be a direct sequel to the earlier film starring Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin and Winona Ryder, but Burton has asked Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter scribe, Seth Grahame-Smith to put some ideas together for a script:

“If you have some idea about it, go for it, and then I’ll look at it freshly.’ In the past, I tried some things, but that was way back when. He seemed really excited about it.”

Grahame-Smith hasn’t turned anything in yet, but Burton is confident that should the right script be developed, Michael Keaton would be up to the task.

“Michael was so great in it. I’m sure he’d strangely tap right back into it.”

That’s not to say that all this is going to happen any time soon. Tim Burton is a very busy man – he’s finishing production of Dark Shadows (Release date: 11 May, 2012), updating his much beloved Frankenweenie as well production duties on Abraham Lincoln, it could be a while before he gets around to Beetlejuice, but the thought that it’s on his mind is soooo exciting.

SQUEE

“Just check them all off till later. Next year, we’ll take a look at them like Santa’s list. I’ll tell you yes or cross them off the list.”

Please keep Beetlejuice on the list! Please! If ever there was a movie that deserved a sequel, it’s Beetlejuice.  Pretty Please?

Via: MTV News
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